Having Eyes That See (Life Lessons That Brought Me Closer to God)

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Self-Care is the Conversation We Need to Have

Hey Sister...

pull up a chair
sit down
let's talk

You're important
You're needed
You're beloved

so don't forget

that while you are busy
taking care of

everyone
everything

else

adjust
adapt 

your schedule...

and take

an hour
a week
a day

to stop and take care of

you

---------------------------------------------------------

Here are five things you can do at home today...


Walk

Hop on a treadmill or Take a brisk walk through your neighborhood


Read

You know those FREE magazines you pass by at the grocery store?
Pick one up... this month's article on "Mindfulness" is right on time!



Pamper

The bar of soap or scented candles your kids gave you for Mother's Day last year? 
Yes, USE THEM!

Run a warm bath... light a candle... and relax


Nourish
yourself from the inside out with a healthy meal

Enjoy

your favorite hobby...
look through favorite photographs...

do something to create new memories!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Find What You've Been Searching For

I retraced my steps...

head down
eyes focused

hoping to find what I had lost

several people

noticed
stopped to ask

"What happened? Are you looking for something?"

and after I explained
they stopped to help me search

two colleagues and
five complete strangers

walking around
together
searching

to no avail

so

I retraced my steps...

around the block
up the elevator
down the hall

back to the office
finally settling into my chair

and in a moment of clarity
slowly leaned forward and peered under the desk

and right there

underneath
hidden
in the corner

was my object

in a place I almost never thought to look!

And I realize that sometimes

we retrace our steps
get help from others
walk around

down
through

and still cannot seem to find what we are looking for

until we

(in a moment of clarity) 

finally stop
lean forward
discover

that what we thought we'd lost

was right there
under our feet

the entire time

so...

Light a candle, sweep the house,
and find what you've been searching for

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Documentation of Grace... It's Your Turn

You are grateful
You know you are

but have you ever stopped to really

think about

the many things...
the many ways...

with which..
in which..

you are blessed?


Now, it's your turn!


One Hundred Days of Grace


@tondra_denise
#onehundreddaysofgrace

Monday, April 2, 2018

Football Lessons... Work in the Off Season

He's been at this for a while now

although when he began I was unsure

how much of this was his idea
how much of this he really wanted

but as I've watched him

practice
press
push

year after year
season after season

(and all of the days in between)

I see and know that ...
when you really love something

There is no such thing as an "off season"


How hard are you willing to work for what you want?

(Click to read other Football Lessons)

Work Hard... Win Big
Super Bowl Champs

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Invitation... God is Calling You to Rest


__________________________________________________________

(originally posted 3/29/13 at 4:10pm)

I have a song...

Many, in fact

but this particular song has been

following me
or leading me

I'm not sure which

But one day as I opened my mouth to sing to the children
this quiet invitation began to spill out...

"Come on in, take a seat
God is calling you to rest, right now...
God is calling, God is calling you to rest right now"

an immediate calm filled the room
the children fell asleep
and I sat singing another 20 minutes or so

That day we all found rest... 


And since that day

the song has been

following me
or leading me

(I'm not sure which)

but it always shows up just when I need rest most

anxiety
uncertainty
fear
pain

"God is calling you to rest right now"

anxiousness
restlessness
anguish
doubt

"God is calling you to rest right now"

the sweet invitation holds my heart
and gently leads me to that place

where I find Him

each time
every time

and I can't really explain the rest that I've found
 
But I extend the invitation so that you can experience it for yourself so...

"Come on in, take a seat"

Allow the peace of God to calm your

mind
spirit
soul

and accept
the invitation

to

rest

Matthew 11:28

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Turn the Page... A Lesson in Vulnerability

I handed him

my notepad
and a pen

then turned my back to finish the song

he was
too young to know

I was
too old to forget

that a notepad is not the best way to keep a toddler quiet during choir rehearsal

(but for a gentle tap)

"Sis, he's writing on the other pages... not sure if you wanted him to do that"

by DMS 3/27/18

And it wasn't until this morning that I thought about it...

Sometimes in life we hand people our notebooks

we open up
we share
we are vulnerable

and they inadvertently (or willingly)

turn the page

and scribble over something we never intended for them to even see

it is an unspoken rule

but we expect people to
stay on the page that we hand them

because (we think)

this is my book

this is what I am willing to show
this is what I am willing to share

However...

he was too young and
I was just young enough

to learn

that

sometimes it's okay
to hand someone your notepad

and

sometimes it's okay
to even hope they'll turn the page...

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Exploring Art and Culture (Black History)

Black History Month 
was celebrated

by honoring some of the

achievements and
contributions

of Black people throughout History

while also taking a closer look at
Black inventors and innovators

like...

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, George Crum, Alfred Cralle, John Love, Carter G. Woodson, James West, William Purvis, Valerie Thomas, Kenneth J. Dunkley, Dr. Jane Wright, Sarah Goode, Daniel Hale Williams, Lewis Latimer, Augustus Jackson, Garrett Morgan, Elijah McCoy, Benjamin Banneker, Frederick McKinley Jones, Jan Ernst Matzeliger, Sarah Boone, Granville T. Woods, George Washington Carver, John Stanard, and more

Here are some highlights...


Before- Children's Alphabet toy
After- Black History Photo Board

And although the month has ended, the truth remains.
Black History is World History... so, you're welcome!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What? Why? How? (One Hundred Days of Grace)

What?
One hundred consecutive days (starting March 1)

of noticing

something
one thing

each day

Why?
We let so many moments of grace slip past by
failing to see the beauty in our everyday lives

Sooooo...

How?
Stop.
Notice.
Appreciate.

and when you see grace...

snap a photo
journal the moment, the memory, the word
share with someone or keep it private

There's no wrong way to

start your journey...
follow mine...



tondra_denise
#onehundreddaysofgrace

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Exploring Art and Culture (Chinese New Year)

The more we continue...

Exploring Art and Culture

the more we continue to

learn
expand

and

grow

together


   
 
 

Chinese New Year
2018 Year of the Dog
Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Monday, February 12, 2018

With This Ring

"How many carats?"

someone once asked...
referring to my wedding ring

and I thought it was a rather odd question
(for someone to ask)

because...
well...

"Carats? Carrots are vegetables"

but

this ring?
these rings?


These rings are symbols of promise

covenant
commitment
connection

and it has been 18 years now "with this ring"


and throughout these 18 years

on my best days
and worst

I realize that

it hasn't mattered
how many carats were on the ring my hand holds

what's mattered Winston
is that you were the one

right there

holding it

I love you and Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

These are the Best Days

I love days like this...
























days of
love and laughter

as we look back over pictures
marveling at how young we were and

saying to one another...

"I've given you the best years of my life"

and today you are 42

(which makes me smile)

double the age of when we fell in love
and I just need to say...

"I've given you the best years of my life"

my youth
my innocence
my "best days"

and I am so blessed by how you've warmly

received them
welcomed them

wrapped your love around them
and given them back to me

one by one
year by year

"You are giving me the best years of your life"

and I will

cling to them
cleave to them
cherish them

until we are both fully gray

so

Happy 42nd Birthday Winston

and here's to the next 42...

our new best years

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Reason I Married a Christian

Marriage is

important
sacred
hard

with silent forces seeking to

kill
steal
destroy

and since

some things are important
(while others are not)

we choose our battles wisely

knowing our common enemy
knowing our uncommon God

knowing
showing
proving

that no matter what...

we can always run back to Him
the point at which we always

agree

Monday, January 15, 2018

To a Generation of "Beef-Seeking" Vegans

You are...


a plant-based
clean eating
vegan

generation

writing
posting
commenting

to use

that power
those words

to start wars
(and end them)

igniting
passion

stirring up
indignation

starting
beef

with hopes that your words will

confront
challenge
change

the world


sharing thoughts and opinions to...

invite conversation
entice minds
incite riots

biting down on injustice
to make someone

feel something
say something
do something

to stop

the carnage
the slayage
the feasting

upon innocent flesh
everywhere

And although it's ironic
(here's something to chew on)

every generation before you

was also forced

to fight
to bite

so you should never apologize for the fact

that you
have had
to become

a generation

of

beef-seeking
vegans